What Happens After a Plane Arrives at the Airport?

Summary: Planes tend to go through a rigorous routine that involves all sorts of procedures and maintenance tasks.

Before taking off, all plane’s will undergo a series of routine checks and adjustments to ensure that you’re flying safely. Here’s a summary of the steps that are taken by most airports while you’re waiting patiently in the terminal


Once a plane arrives and clears the runway, the pilots will receive instructions from stationed ground controllers. Larger airports like international airports will have complex taxi layouts so each member must work to ensure that planes avoid colliding into one another.

Once the plane comes to a stop, the nose wheel aligns with a painted line on the ramp that matches the aircraft. This prepares it for the passenger boarding process.


After parking, the plane will then undergo a maintenance routine. It all starts with the plane’s engines. They provide both thrust and electrical power during flight, but once it’s parked the power is then provided via an Auxiliary Power Units (APU). Located in the tail, the APU is started to feed power to the plane’s internal electrical systems.

However, using an APU costs a significant amount of fuel so airports tend to have a variety of different power sources like a lithium ion starting unit for example or a generator cart parked at a gate. Once the plane’s panel is opened, it’s then connected with a heavy-duty plug – which allows the pilot to shut down the engines.

Many of these airports utilize a central power system but others tend to rely on portable power units  to operate when there’s a smaller plane or jet. Doing so allows the airport to be versatile to handle all aircraft sizes.